How To Overcome Negative Stereotypes

“The best way to break a negative stereotype is to shock the stereotype”

The Funeral Profession plays to the negative stereotype by the persona they cultivate: Formal, unapproachable, dignified, conventional, guardians of the past and so on. I have found one of the best ways to shock a stereotype is with humor.

If I owned a funeral home it would be my declared intent to cause people to find me approachable, fun and less intense than they might be expecting. I would want to be warm, humble and interestingly flexible.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.04.01 PMTim Hoff is owner of the Hoff Funeral homes in Minnesota. He took on the challenge of raising $4,000 for a local charity. He chose to do this by producing a video that positioned him in a pretty vulnerable way. In so doing he is creating a persona of being fun, approachable and even a little bit funny…while working for a good cause that people relate to OTHER THAN BEING DEAD. Take a look:

So let’s help Tim manage his ICE PHOBIA by clicking here:




  1. Tim Hoff February 16, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Thank you Alan for the shout out. Children’s Grief Connection is an incredible organization, with a mission of ‘Bringing Hope and Healing to Grieving Children and families.’

  2. Herb Ayres February 17, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Way to have some fun Tim and show people your human side. I think the reason people hold these droll stereotypes is because they are true! Funeral service needs to attract people with real human personalities that sync up with their clients!

  3. Kyle Tevlin February 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    I love this! Congrats to Tim for taking on the challenge and the risk.
    Alan, your sentiment that “…one of the best ways to shock a stereotype is with humor.” is spot on. I have a fledgling business called “I Want a Fun Funeral” – helping people plan their funerals in advance and have fun doing it (i.e. I’m not pushing “fun” funerals, only trying to lure people to the topic with lightheartedness). I have a very irreverent opening to my workshop, designed to make people laugh, which I tell them is to break the ‘spell’ we’re under that death and funerals is a morbid and depressing subject. I think humor is such an asset when creating an environment of fresh thinking. Now I want to do a video like Tim’s! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Johnny Shi May 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    What an interesting and fun video. I wouldn’t of expected that to come from someone in the funeral profession. My perspective has changed and I guess that means you have broken my stereotypical thinking. I enjoyed reading and watching this. Thanks for sharing.

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